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Discussion in 'Ελληνικά (Greek)' started by seitt, Sep 2, 2013.

  1. seitt Senior Member


    From our friend and helper Αγγελος on "Θες άλλο νοίκι;":
    Wasn't there likewise a pun about the name of the town Καβάλα? Something about half the inhabitants being καβάλα on the other half? Sorry I'm being so vague – after all it's many years ago I heard it, perhaps it might help if you explain what the various meanings of καβάλα are and give the pun as it is in Greek, or your reconstruction of what it might have been.

    Best wishes, and many thanks,

  2. Αγγελος Senior Member

    More than one, no doubt. καβάλα means "mounted, on horseback" and is a perfectly proper word for that sense (καβαλάω = to mount, to ride; καβαλάρης = a rider on horseback), but just like 'mount' in English, it also has a sexual sense. Hence the double entendre.

    When direct interurban dialing was first introduced in Greece in the mid-1960's, the dialer would hear the name of the city after dialing its long-distance code. There was a joke that ran like this: "Dial 0952 and you will hear your heart's desire revealed." (0952 was, of course, the code for Kavala...)

    Another joke, in dialog form:
    -- Πού μένετε;
    -- Στην οδό Καβάλας, με το συμπάθειο.
    ("με το συμπάθειο", meaning "if you will pardon my mentioning it", is an expression used when mentioning things it is not considered polite to talk about. Peasants will often say "ο γάιδαρος, με το συμπάθειο". There is indeed an οδός Καβάλας in Athens.)
  3. seitt Senior Member

    Many thanks, fascinating.

    I've remembered a bit more about the actual Greek in the pun I heard: Στην Καβάλα, οι μισοί Καβαλινοί (is that what the inhabitants are called?) είναι καβάλα στην άλλη μισή. (Please correct my Greek.)

    And please could you give the Greek for "Dial 0952 and you will hear your heart's desire revealed."?
  4. Andrious Senior Member

    I don´t know anything about these 2 phrases but Kavala´s male inhabitants are called Καβαλιώτες and female Καβαλιώτισσες.
  5. Αγγελος Senior Member

    Definitely not Καβαλινοί. καβαλίνα means "piece of horse dung". It should be "Στην Καβάλα, οι μισοί Καβαλιώτες είναι καβάλα στους άλλους μισούς" or else "η μισή πόλη είναι καβάλα στην άλλη μισή." I have never heard either version. Both seem rather silly. That males mount females is not peculiar to Kavala, or to the human species for that matter!

    The other joke is "Πάρε το 0952 και θ' ακούσεις τον κρυφό σου πόθο". But it only worked for a couple of years in the sixties...
  6. seitt Senior Member

    Many thanks, excellent.

    I suppose most puns are rather silly in a way - but they're most useful for language learning!

    Do you mean because dialling codes were changed again?
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2013
  7. Αγγελος Senior Member

    No; I mean that when the novelty of direct dialing wore off, or when too many places became directly dialable, the national telephone company OTE put an end to the practice of automatically repeating the name of the place called when one dialed the corresponding long-distance code. So one would no longer hear the word καβάλα (or anything else) upon dialing 0952.
  8. seitt Senior Member

    Many thanks, excellent.
  9. sotos Senior Member

    My favorite: "When a man gets old, he comes down from Kavala to Glyfada".
    But I'm too shy to explain it.
  10. Αγγελος Senior Member

    Here is as much of the explanation as fits within the bounds of decency, in case anyone needs it.

    Γλυφάδα is a suburb of Athens. (There is a locality by the same name on Corfu.) The name probably comes from γλυφός (said of water and meaning 'brackish' or 'metallic-tasting'), but suggests the verb γλύφω (also spelt γλείφω), which means "to lick". (The original meaning of γλύφω was 'to sculpt', whence γλύπτης = sculptor. It is not certain that the modern verb is actually the same word.)
    The rest is left to the reader's imagination.
  11. seitt Senior Member

    Many thanks - please could you give that in Greek?
  12. cougr Senior Member

    Hi seitt,

    Quite some time ago, during an interview, the comedian/actor Kostas Voutsas made a joke along the lines that a man's sexual journey commences at Μαλακάσα progresses through to Καβάλα, then Γλυφάδα and terminates at Δράμα. I think sotos comment (post #9) relates to this.
  13. seitt Senior Member

    Many thanks - here we are:
    01 Μαλακάσα 02 Γλυφάδα 03 Καβάλα 04 Κερατέα 05 Δράμα 06 Κυπαρισσία
    1-5 are no problem, but why Κυπαρισσία?
  14. Andrious Senior Member

    Cause κυπαρίσσια exist in cemeteries (greek ones, at least).
  15. seitt Senior Member

    Ah, thanks - btw, in Britain it's yew trees (ήμερο έλατο apparently) that are found in cemeteries.

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